If we think we are allowed to modify and decorate our bodies in some ways but not in others, and we continue to judge ourselves and one another for doing so, we are a confused lot.
If you ask me.
If you ask me, my body is the vessel that protects my tender center while my tender center does deep and powerful and soulful work.
My body is a vehicle that allows me to move through this lifetime having a human experience. It is an incredible vessel but it is changing matter. Untangling shame around allowing myself to acknowledge this, and allowing myself to be seen as a multidimensional being has been both terrible and wonderful.
I am happier and more comfortable in my body since I started emancipating myself from societal expectations of what it is supposed to look like. I felt a violation to the core of my spirit when I was stripped of everything that I thought made me physically whole. No one ever told me that I was allowed to be happy without these things. My self love is radical because the very existence of it does not fit into the formula I was given to measure my self worth.
My self love is radical because I went against oppressive shame and unreasonable expectation. I got curious. I questioned. I dropped in. And from the depths of despair and confusion I made a powerful and empowering decision. It was to celebrate myself, to bravely explore the multidimensionality of my being.
I have often thought of my experience as a balding woman as a kind of social experiment. I have noted the differences in how I am received wearing hair vs not wearing hair. Presenting bald with makeup vs bald with no makeup. The verdict: The difference is vibrational. Meaning, the way I feel about how I present directly affects the way I am perceived by others. I can elicit pity or awe or wonder and mad respect. I can attract the attention of everyone around me or become virtually invisible in a crowd. It makes me shake my head a little when another woman comments on my (no) hairstyle and tells me that she would love it if she could get away with shaving her head, but she is not pretty enough, her head is shaped weird, her body is too big, or her head is too small, etc and so on. I say “thank you” but what I really want to say is that it sucks that she doesn’t feel like she is allowed to shave her head because her body and her face do not fit some sort of mold that grants her this permission. What does this say about our expectation of ourselves and each other that we only allow a deviation from the “norm” if a certain number of boxes are already checked. What are we measuring ourselves against?
I want to have conversations about beauty and self love and fashion and self presentation that allow for the spiritual aspects of these things to come to light. I want to move beyond the conversations about what we are supposed to look like. I am tired of us deciding for each other what is appropriate to wear, whether or not it is okay for us to get botox or implants or wear a wig or shave our heads or not shave our armpits and our pubic hair. I want to talk about what beauty and self love and fashion and self presentation means to us if we were truly operating from the sovereignty of ourselves.
Some questions to consider:
Is there an aspect of your body that you or others have not been able to accept that you can decide to look at with love?
What would this love and appreciation look like?
How might this shift in perception change your level of comfort and confidence in the world?
In what ways can you bring your own multidimensional version of beauty to light?
What does beauty even mean to you?